The Olympics are over. Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick are all coming home with medals. However, they are all coming home united as Kings again.
On Monday night, the Olympic break proved beneficial to one team and not so much to the other. The Detroit Red Wings who seemed to be healthy for the first time this season were able to hold on and beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2.
This is a Kings blog, why am I talking about two teams other than LA you ask? I’ll say it again, the Olympics are OVER. It’s time for everyone to focus on the main prize which is Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The break helped heal a mash unit club. It also returned a Gold medal winning coach and a very long list of Olympians. The game did not fade much from the skates of the Red Wings and it proved that this team can return to the Red Wings everyone is so accustomed to. Until the Vancouver Canucks came to town. However, we can let the Red Wings writers worry about that.
Five key components of the make up of the Los Angeles Kings have returned the game still fresh under their legs. Michael Handzus and Raitis Ivanans were the other two representatives for their respected countries. With that, the Dallas Stars stood zero chance as the Kings were able to pull off a 5-1 victory on Tuesday night. Quick earned his league leading 36th victory of the season and all signs are pointing towards the playoffs. Tonight, the Kings do battle against the Nashville Predators who are another team fighting to keep their playoff position and hopes alive. Pekka Rinne, who was recently signed to a contract extension by the Preds, will be between the pipes while all signs point to Quick getting yet another nod.
The Kings have won eight of their previous nine road games. Signs that prove just how real this team is. Dean Lombardi has created the black and white and Terry Murray has done his job to add the system that has proven to be a winning one all year.
Tonight’s line-up (subject to change):
Justin Williams, who has been participating in full practices with the club, does not seem to be far off from a return to the line up. Another offensive threat to add to an already talented roster. Another reason, also, Dean Lombardi did not have to make any drastic moves on deadline day.
The questions will remain as to what will happen with Alex Frolov come July 1st, but until then there is no need to worry. Currently, the playoffs are on the horizon and that needs to be the only common thought and conversation amongst the Kings roster.
The Los Angeles Kings have signed 1st round draft pick Brayden Schenn to a 3-year entry level deal today.
Jeff Halpern, who was acquired yesterday for Teddy Purcell and a 3rd round draft selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, will most likely make his Kings debut.
Fredrick Modin will also be in the line up. The Kings agreed to acquire the veteran winger for future considerations.
About the Author: Anthony Curatolo is a 31 y/o New Yorker with a passion for the game that takes him into a different category then the regular run of the mill fan. He has an intense, creative, witty style that will either have you love him or hate him within the first paragraph you read from one of his writings. Growing up in a hockey world (his father was raised in Montreal, and his father brought that passion with him into the States) was a blessing in disguise for Anthony. Hockey has become more then a passion and infatuation for, and he hopes to one day have a career within the sport. Picked up originally by the Checking Line (from guest blogs written for HockeyBuzz), Anthony began blogging on a daily basis. When his original site, the checking line, went down the writing passion started to fall off. A few years later, Crash the Crease was born and Anthony was approached and asked to write for them. Since that time (August '08), Anthony has become a panel member on the websites Sunday talk show, as well as branching off and forming 1/3 of the talk show team called "The Hockey Guys!" Now Anthony takes his mind and his writings to the next level as he begins his journey with Hockey Independent and asks that there are many that join him. The Kings are the team, the style is Independent and the game is Hockey - there is nothing better in the universe. Although his pride bleeds for the Orange and Black (yes folks, the Philadelphia Flyers) Anthony is also a FAN of the game, and has knowledge for all 30 teams within the league coming from his true, pure love for the sport in it's entirety. As a voice of a fan for the fans (as we all know is the "Crash the Crease" and "The Hockey Guys" slogans) there will be debate, controversy, praise and love all combined into one giant thing - blogs by Anthony.